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Russian inflation forecast for 2005
The Russian Economic Development and Trade Ministry does not plan revising its 2005 inflation forecast, set at 8.5 percent, Minister German Gref said. "We have every possibility to stay within these boundaries and no revision of the parameters is planned," he told the briefing at the House of government. Mr.Gref confirmed that in 2004 inflation was 11.7 percent. "The Statistics Committee has already published the figure," he said. He called "jugglers" the authors of reports in the mass media that inflation was much higher -- 13 to 14 percent. Methods of assessing the growth of consumer prices may be imperfect, Mr.Gref admitted. There can be "pluses or minuses" in numbers and, in his opinion, such errors enlarge, rather than lessen, the true inflation figure. "I'd rather trust these figures and don't think that the consumer price index was higher (than 11.7 percent)," he said. Mr. Gref admitted the faster growth of producer prices, which hit 20 percent in 2004. "It is an indication that the antimonopoly mechanism should be introduced," he said. "It is the number one item on the agenda." Inflation for the first 17 days of 2005 was recorded at 1.9 percent. "It is a high figure, more than in January last year," Mr. Gref said. Therefore, he said that Prime Minister Fradkov has instructed the Federal Tariffs Service to monitor control of the tariffs in regions.
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